Iran claims new oil field discovery

Feb. 13, 2012 at 8:29 AM

TEHRAN, Feb. 13 (UPI) -- Iran made an oil field discovery that will add to its recoverable reserve estimate of more than 150 million barrels, an official said.

Mahmoud Mohaddes, director of exploration for the National Iranian Oil Co., said there were "considerable" reserves available in a newly discovered oil field, Iran's state-funded broadcaster Press TV reports.

While he was short on specifics, he said more information on oil developments would surface before the end of the Iranian year in March.

The country's oil minister said recoverable reserves stand at around 154 billion barrels. Sanctions pressure on Iran's Central Bank has made it difficult for Tehran to process crude oil sales, however.

The European Union said it was placing an embargo on Iranian crude oil as punishment for Tehran's nuclear program. Iranian lawmakers said they backed a measure that would pre-empt the European measure, which would go into effect starting in July.

Iran is one of the top oil producers in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

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